Cornish singer / songwriter Joe Francis is Winter Mountain.
With support slots for pop icon Seal, Elbow frontman Guy Garvey, Richard Thompson and The Feeling under his belt its safe to say its been an extraordinary 18 months for Winter Mountain.
“Francis is not only carrying on a tradition ventured by such legends as Springsteen, Petty and Neil Young but developing certain aspects as he ventures alongthe road, marrying his fine song writing to his ability to seamlessly harness his energy“.
The Winter Mountain sound is a blend of melodic songs, an extraordinarily soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics, reminiscent of a time before digital recording when the emphasis fell on the importance of live performance and the essence of the songs. It was the quality of the songs and the power of his performances that inspired folk star Cara Dillon and her husband/producer Sam Lakeman to sign Winter Mountain to their label Charcoal Records.
Hugely passionate about music from a very young age, Winter Mountain got his first taste of song writing and performing in local bars with school friends before going professional in his late teens. An early success was recording an album at Abbey Road Studios with his then band ‘The Ammunition’. Next he travelled America and recorded a solo album of self penned folk songs at Sun Studios, Memphis. Thus continuing a long and esteemed tradition of storytelling musicians at this legendary studio.
Winter Mountain released the self titled debut album in 2013 to unanimous critical acclaim with The Sunday Express naming ‘Winter Mountain’ ‘an utterly fabulous record’ and awarding it a 5 star review. The Irish Post called it ‘A smashing album, a terrific, classy debut’, whilst Maverick Magazine had this to say: ‘Winter Mountainmake them like they used to, and three cheers for that!’ (At present there are over thirty 5 star reviews on Amazon for the album & Tracks from Winter Mountains debut album achieved substantial success on BBC Radio 2 with plays from Janice Long, Dermot O’Leary, Clare Balding, on RTE Radio 1 and from local stations in both the UK and Ireland)
Following the release Winter Mountain signed with the prestigious Faber Music Publishing.
Joe kept the creative flame alight by moving between Ireland and his home on the wild north coast of Cornwall. He also spent a stark and beautiful winter in the French Alps, writing as he went. He returned to the public arena in 2016 with supports sets including a tour of the UK and Ireland opening for Gomez frontman Ben Ottewell, a solo acoustic and full band headline tour of the UK and a brand new album, released on his own label ‘Astral Fox Records’. ‘I swear I Flew’ is a musical chronicle of recent events in Joes life. Musically informed by song writing greats such as Springsteen, Tom Petty and Neil Young ‘I Swear I Flew’ has a punchier sound than Winter Mountains debut, being sonically and emotionally rawer and more revealing than its predecessor.
Winter Mountain has toured the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland opening for some of the worlds most talented and high profile artists including Seal, The Feeling, Seth Lakeman, Cara Dillon, Ocean Colour Scene, Reef, Richard Thomson, Rosanne Cash, Leann Rhimes, Grammy award winner Patty Griffin, Ben Ottewell of Gomez, legendary songwriter Benny Gallagher, Paolo Nutini, The Waterboys, Fleet Foxes and many others, and has graced the stage at some of those countries most distinguished venues inc The Ulster Hall (Belfast), Union Chapel (London), The Belfast Waterfront, Vicar Street (Dublin) and headline sets to sell-out crowds at the likes of the infamous Camden Barfly and Dublins Whelans Bar.
Recent times have seen Winter Mountain contributing vocals to Seth Lakeman’s recent ‘Word of mouth’ album as well as sharing a stage with him at Beautiful Days Festival. Winter Mountain also provided backing vocals for Cara Dillon’s ‘A thousand Hearts’ album.
“I Swear I Flew’ was released on November 18th 2016 on Joes very own ‘Astral Fox Records’.